What makes Kershaw Speedsafe legal?

Fender

Fender

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Can someone explain what exactly makes a switchblade illegal and a Speedsafe or other assisted knife not?

Is it because a speedsafe blade isn't pre-loaded with spring waiting for a button to be pushed, since you have to push the blade through some resistance?
 
csshih

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at the moment, speedsafe is getting past regulations because it still requires some force to open the blade; the spring only comes into action when the blade is already half-open.(I believe)
 
kwkarth

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I think most assisted opening knives require them to be manually opened 30 degrees before assist kicks in.
 
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michaelmcgo

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I think most assisted opening knives require them to be manually opened 30 degrees before assist kicks in.

An "automatic" knife is opened by pushing a button or lever on the handle. An "assisted" opening knife is only opened by moving the blade, a spring then assist the opening.

The speedsafe and other AO type knives are safe for now, but it was a close one there for a little while. Let this incident remind us all of how important it is to pay attention to issues that matter to us.
 
jahxman

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I think most assisted opening knives require them to be manually opened 30 degrees before assist kicks in.

On my SOG Twitch II, the blade only needs to move about 15 degrees before the spring assist takes over; it opens by pressing on a small tab that is part of the blade which protrudes through the back of the handle when closed.

So in practice it is hardly different from pressing a button to activate the spring, but the important technical point which allows Lowes to sell these knives in PA is that what you are pressing on is the actual blade, and not a separate button mechanism.

It's a very fine distinction that I could easily see be legislated away, but I hope not.
 
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SFG2Lman

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i thought the difference was that switch blades were spring powered and assisted were cam powered
 
csshih

csshih

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oops. 1/2 is a bit too much, eh? it probably varies among manufacturers.
 
1 what

1 what

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Based on expensive experience.......If you live in Australia any spring in any configuration in a knife is enough to get your knife seized by Customs.
 
commodorewheeler

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Is it because a speedsafe blade isn't pre-loaded with spring waiting for a button to be pushed, since you have to push the blade through some resistance?

That is actually not the reason why SpeedSafe (and other assisted openers) are categorized separately from full automatics. Assisted openers are not considered automatics because the means by which you actuate the opening of the knife (thumbstud or flipper tab) on an assisted opener is part of the blade, whereas an automatic knife uses a separate, detached means of actuation, such as a button or a lever or a scale or bolster.

However, the resistance that you speak of, along with the detent, does help prevent assisted openers from being classified as gravity knives.
 
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Frankiarmz

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"(5) a knife that contains a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward
closure of the blade and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist or arm to overcome
the bias toward closure to assist in opening the knife."

I am considering the purchase of a Boker Magnum Automatic, which opens by depressing a button (button lock) and requires depressing the same button while applying pressure to the blade in order to close it. Could someone tell me if it meets the requirement mentioned in the above statemtent which is from Section 1244 of the new Federal Switchblade Act. Thank you.
 
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commodorewheeler

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"(5) a knife that contains a spring, detent, or other mechanism designed to create a bias toward
closure of the blade and that requires exertion applied to the blade by hand, wrist or arm to overcome
the bias toward closure to assist in opening the knife."

I am considering the purchase of a Boker Magnum Automatic, which opens by depressing a button (button lock) and requires depressing the same button while applying pressure to the blade in order to close it. Could someone tell me if it meets the requirement mentioned in the above statemtent which is from Section 1244 of the new Federal Switchblade Act. Thank you.

From what you describe, the knife in question does not meet the above requirement if all it takes is a button press to open it.
 
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Frankiarmz

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From what you describe, the knife in question does not meet the above requirement if all it takes is a button press to open it.

Thanks for the reply. I thought it would fit the requirement of exclusion because although the knife opens with a push of a button, it requires a hand and force against the blade to close it again and reload the spring. You can't just hold the knife up and let the blade retract on it's own by gravity. Interesting reading but a little difficult to understand. I'm sure local laws would still supercede the newer Federal regulations.
 
commodorewheeler

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Thanks for the reply. I thought it would fit the requirement of exclusion because although the knife opens with a push of a button, it requires a hand and force against the blade to close it again and reload the spring. You can't just hold the knife up and let the blade retract on it's own by gravity. Interesting reading but a little difficult to understand. I'm sure local laws would still supercede the newer Federal regulations.

You're welcome! Actually, most autos do require you to reload the spring when you close the knife, it's fairly typical in just about every type of auto except D/A OTFs.

The segment of law that you listed has more to do with resistance to opening when a knife is closed rather than resistance to closing when the knife is open.
 
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Frankiarmz

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Changes to Federal Switchblade Act

AKTI NOTE: Exception (5) to Section 1244 below was passed (as part of a manager’s amendment
resulting from acceptance of Amendment 1447) by a vote of the full Senate (84-6) on July 9. It is the
language provided by AKTI that was accepted unanimously by the 2009 Texas Legislature and signed into
law by Texas Governor Perry on June 18, 2009.

This agreement was reached in the Senate among the Appropriations committee, the Finance
Committee, the Commerce, Science and Transportation committee and with Customs and Border
Protection on July 8. Senators Cornyn, Pryor, Wyden, Crapo, Hatch, Vitter, Risch, Chambliss, Corker,
Enzi, Barrasso, Graham, Merkley, Thune, Bennett, Collins, Inhofe, Ben Nelson, Tester and Roberts co-
sponsored this amendment (1447). AKTI thanks them.

This new language [(5) below], as part of the Homeland Security Appropriations for FY 2010, it was
passed in the House, approved by Conference and signed by the President on October 28, 2009.

Attorneys who have reviewed this language on AKTI’s behalf or on behalf of AKTI member companies
conclude that this new language protects the importation of one-hand openers and assisted-openers
because both belong to a broad class of knives with a bias toward closure. Under their own regulations, if
this amendment becomes law, Customs can no longer argue that importing such knives is contrary to the
law. U.S. Customs cannot ban products for which there is no statutory support.

Commodorewheeler, the above statement, specifically the last paragraph is what lead me to believe the law had changed. I understand even if US Customs is alright with their import, local laws probably still prevent carry of such knives. I appreciate your input. Frank
 
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tsmith35

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If our elected representatives don't hear from us occasionally, eventually we'll be left with only plastic sporks and plastic non-serrated knives. Everything else is too dangerous...:thumbsdow
 
PhantomPhoton

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If our elected representatives don't hear from us occasionally, eventually we'll be left with only plastic sporks and plastic non-serrated knives. Everything else is too dangerous...:thumbsdow

Actually they make it illegal to have many plastic and other non-metalic blades already in some places. :p But thats another topic for another place.

Technically a "speedsafe" or other assisted opening knife types can be construed as illegal according to the very general language of knife laws in many states and municipalities. :crazy:
 
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Xtremespeed

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I think, in today's world, the laws need to be changed. What difference does it make how fast a knife can be opened? I always thought the law for switchblades was rediculous, and with the technologies we have developed and use everyday, it seems very archaic.
 

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